One word. AMSTERDAM! (Pics)

Ok. Ok. Listen, I know, the title says one word, but really there are 4 words in the title, and of course I’m going to type up some stuff here too to kind of give you an idea of what is going on in this post. One word would be a hard limit to stick to on a blog.

I’d just made it back from Egypt and I had a sudden opportunity put in front of me. Two of the guys I work with, good friends, were going to stop over in Amsterdam on their way home, and they wanted me to come along too. UMM…let me think…YES! Then one of our American friends, Beth, decided to join too! This trip was going to be awesome. We had 4 days to really take in the city and have an awesome time and unwind.

This blog doesn’t need much set up – other than it was, like Egypt, rather spur of the moment and one of the things I love about living on this side of the planet. So much is just a short flight away!

Click through for the pictures and fun anecdotes. 

One condition for Beth to be able to come along, she had to travel with a responsible adult both to and from Amsterdam. Ok, a mostly responsible adult.
Ok. I know. Adult. Mostly an adult.

On our layover in Istanbul, Turkey. We indulged in Amsterdam Navigator beer! A beer that, despite our searching, we could not find in Amsterdam. Strange.

“I’m going to blog about this!”
“I already hate traveling with you…”
Just kidding. We got along famously. There is a train that runs from the International airport in Amsterdam to the central station. Nice, big, clean, comfortable and quick way to get into the city. From their it was a short taxi ride to our AirBnB.com booked accommodations. This was my first time booking with AirBnB and IT WAS AWESOME.

Quick travel tips on Amsterdam. One, if you’re going as a tourist get yourself the iamsterdam city pass. It serves as your metro card the entire time you’re in the city. It also covers your entry fees at the museums and gets you priority lines at those museums. It paid for itself in metro fees alone by the end of the trip. Also UBER is huge here, works great, easier than taxis sometimes, and we were always in Jaguars and Mercedes except for that one time we got a prius…ugh.

After we got settled into the boat this charming street was just a short walk away and was full of cafes and restaurants to pick from. At this point we wanted real, non airline food.

It was super cold so the house made beef stew, which was thick and hearty, was the perfect cold weather choice for dinner.

The next morning we were still waiting for Chase and Darren to arrive, who flew in on a different flight (I guess that is obvious huh?). So I started the morning off with a quick run around downtown Amsterdam (the “Centrum”).

Sunrise run!

This was the only run I got in here, I was certainly out numbered by the bikes on the roads. But it was good to get out and be active. When I got back to the boat Chase and Darren had finally found their way to us.

The four of us then went out for breakfast. They were exhausted from traveling all night and wanted a few hours of sleep after food. But food is always important.

Bakery was on point for breakfast.

Our house boat, we found on AirBnB.com is right downtown on one of the canals. Even had a really cool seating area up top.

Waiting in line to try a very Dutch snack. “Frites” which is just, fries. They love these things, everyone walks around with them. Slathered, dripping, in Mayo. We opted out of the mayo.

The Van Gogh Museum, included with our iamsterdam pass.

Found a windmill! And – bonus, it’s also a brewery!

Wine and cheese on the boat

A quick drink before boarding the Canal Cruise (included with the iamsterdam pass) to see the light festival displays. We did have to pay a little extra for the light festival one.

See the behavior I have to deal with.

Bethany finally found a pair of wooden clogs that she liked.

Biking on a whole new level.

So, I’m realizing now as i go through my photos looking for images to put online that I don’t have that many and that is kind of a bummer. I guess I’ll just need to head back on a photo adventure there!

I absolutely loved Amsterdam. I used to say that Paris was my favorite city in Europe to visit, but now, having been to Amsterdam I can say that Amsterdam is number 1! The people are great, the city is full of character and old history, the food options are limitless however their colonization of Indonesia for so long meant that Indonesian food was abundant! I grew up in Indo, so that was a taste of home to me.

One final thought, in closing. The Airport in Amsterdam is fantastic! It’s clean, modern, efficient, and perfect. Everything is fast, automated, high-tech. The security people are friendly and cordial. Seriously, the TSA should be hanging their heads in shame just because of their behavior and policies…but when places like Schiphol exist, with their security and technology, it just makes the TSA in the United States look even worse. One of the few things I wish America would adopt from Europe.

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